Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: One Hour Air Conditioning

About a year ago, we signed up with One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating.  We pay a monthly premium and in return, we get two check-up services per year - one in the Fall and one in the Spring.

Last year, after we returned home from our Summer vacation in August, we found that the AC wasn't working.  We knew there was a leak in the coils, but we weren't sure how long it would last before the leak became too big.  So by August of 2011, the coils needed to be replaced - there was no reason delaying the replacement anymore.  We paid a lot, but since we were on the premium service, we received their "discount".

Fast forward to about three weeks ago.  We had the technician come out for the annual Spring check-up.  He checked both the upstairs and downstairs units.  They are both about 17 years old, but they still passed with a fairly clean bill of health.  So we were good to go for the Summer months.  Then, about 3 days passed and the upstairs unit stopped working.  We called One Hour on a Friday night (March 16) and they said they couldn't get a tech out until Sunday - fine, no problem and we scheduled the visit.

Sunday March 18 - all during church services, I kept an eye on my phone waiting for the 30 minute heads-up phone call.  Nothing.  We got home at 2pm.  Still no call.  I called them at 3pm to see if a tech was coming.  They said he was on his way.  Then my wife gets a call on her phone stating that they don't do work on the weekends.  That really surprised us.  So we called them back and they said they just merged companies and there was a mis-understanding ... something about one company not doing weekend work and the other doing weekend work.  But the bottom line is they reassured us the tech would come ... eventually.

The original appointment was for between 12 and 4pm.  He showed up between 8:00 and 8:30pm.  We had put the kids to bed and he quietly worked on it.  The circuit board was out and wasn't sending a signal to the fan to turn on.  I had checked earlier, outside, and the pipes from the outside unit were iced over.  He said he had a universal board ... it would cost $700.  Oh well.  He went to install it.  He came back downstairs and told us the universal circuit board isn't compatible with our unit - he needs to special-order the part.  That's fine.  So he jimmy-rigged it to by-pass the broken board so at least the AC would run.  We really only needed the board for the furnace to work.  He leaves around 10pm and said they would call us to schedule a follow-up visit.

Monday March 19 - no phone call from them.

Tuesday March 20 - I call them; explain the situation.  They tell me the part should be there this week and that they can go ahead and schedule the appointment.  We schedule it for Friday March 23 between 12-4pm.

Friday March 23 - I get home early from work.  One tech shows up - it's not the original tech we had requested.  It turns out this other tech is there to sell us a new AC unit.  I politely explain that we're not buying a new unit at this time.  This was at 1pm or so.  3:40pm - still no call from One Hour.  I call them and tell them that the tech still hasn't showed up and that we are leaving the house and that we will not be there after 4pm. So he puts me on hold to see when he can schedule the visit.  While I'm on hold, I hear the motto "Always on time ... or you don't pay a dime"  When he comes back, I ask him about the motto.  He said something for every 5 minutes the tech is late ... some amount of money is deducted up to $300.  Cool!  That's about half the cost of the circuit board.  I explain what happened to us on Sunday March 18.  He makes a note of it and says someone would call me to discuss.

Monday March 26 - the appointment is for - you guessed it - 12-4pm.  This time, the tech called ahead of time and showed up within the 4 hour block.  He did the work - did a great job.  Then we sit down to talk about the invoice.  I explained to him all of the above.  I told him I was ok paying (now $617) the bill, but that if something could be done about it now ... if I could get $300 knocked off it, then it would help.  I'd rather get the $300 knocked off first rather than having to pay in full and then try to chase down the $300 later.  Anyway, he gives me his supervisor's phone number and I call him.  I explain everything to him - including that no one called back after I had originally told them that they were late.  I said I'd like to get the $300 off up front, if possible.  The supervisor told me it wasn't $300 ... it was the whole bill!!  Wow!  Even better.  So I gave the phone to the tech and the tech talked with the Supervisor.  He hung up and zeroed the bill.  It didn't cost us a dime - just like they had said.  I was very impressed.  I was ready for a fight, but there was no fight - which was very, very pleasant.

So - I give One Hour 4.9 stars out of 5 stars.  If it weren't for the scheduling SNAFU, they would remain perfect in my eyes.  But the fact that they owned up to that problem and kept to their word - that we didn't pay a dime - it made up for the scheduling problems.

I fully endorse One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating.  If I were a rock star or a professional sports athlete or a radio/TV personality, I'd probably be endorsing them on the radio or TV right now.

1 comment:

  1. This is Katee posting It's funny you posted this...I just bought a new a/c and furnace yesterday. We have a bad coil but also rust from the coil freezing up so we opted to buy a new a/c rather than fix it (it is about 16 years old). I am so excited to have a/c this summer. We were without all summer last year. Thank goodness we had a mind summer and that we don't live in Texas.